How to clean the germs away – 4 top tips to reduce illness in the home this winter

Germ free home

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Hygienic cleaning at home helps prevent germs spreading, which is particularly important at this time of year when there is a high risk of colds and flu. So how can we guard against germs in the home? Hygiene experts say focusing on germ ‘hotspots’ will help to keep sickness at bay. Here are four top tips to help keep us healthy this winter:

1) Floors and surfaces: Keep surfaces clean and wash and dry your hands when preparing meals. Keep baths, shower trays and sinks hygienic by wiping them down regularly and use a disinfectant if they’ve been used by someone who is poorly. Use warm water with detergent to regularly keep floors clean and make sure it has time to dry properly before stepping on the floor. Molly Maid Domestic Cleaning Services advises to sweep or vacuum floors to collect crumbs and dirt before damp mopping, then start washing the floor in the farthest corner of the room and work your way towards the door. They also suggest that using a cloth on the end of a mop handle is an easy way to reach the narrow space between appliances such as the washing machine, cooker or fridge.

2) Clean your cloths and sponges: Make sure they are disinfected after each use. Cleaning cloths should be rinsed and hung or laid flat after every use to prevent the warm, damp surface becoming a breeding ground for microbes. You should also pop them in the washing machine regularly.

Sponges should be washed in the sink with very hot water and an anti-bacterial detergent. Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands and rinse the sponge before soaking it in a weak solution of bleach with water. Rinse and leave to dry out.

3) Bedding and towels: To prevent the spread of germs, wash towels and household linen at 60C (140F) or at 40C (104F) with a bleach-based laundry product. Don’t leave laundry in the washing machine once the cycle is finished as any remaining germs can quickly multiply. The washing machine should also be run on empty once a week, either at a high temperature or with a chemical disinfectant to prevent the growth of germs. Don’t forget to clean out the detergent drawer which is a common place for mould to grow.

4) Clean gadgets: Wipe down your remote controls, mobiles, laptops, and telephones. Use anti-bacterial wipes and cotton buds to get into tiny spaces or between keyboard keys. Children’s toys should also be cleaned well if your little ones have been unwell. Recent news reports show that smartphones and tablets can harbour more germs than toilet seats. According to the Daily Telegraph routine tests from 30 smartphones, tablets and keyboards showed hazardous levels of germs that could cause vomiting, diarrhoea and could harbour infections such as E.coli.

As a general rule, think more carefully about cleanliness in the home, wash your hands after being in contact with someone who is ill, take the above steps and you’ll ensure you look after yourself this winter.

* This is a collaborative post *

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